In my early years of high school (9th – 11th), I kept a sketch book. I started keeping a sketchbook for the art class I took my freshman year. In this book, I documented a great deal of what was happening in my life, which led to inspirations for works that I later entered in to local art competitions. In this book, I started out with crude sketches and evolved into minute detail portraits that I could create in half an hour. I started my first pieces in charcoal that mattered, I experimented with color in ways I had never done before, blending, shading, mixing. In this book, I could confide all my thoughts and emotions like the best of companions. I could also reflect on myself and consider my “former” self, having hindsight of a couple hours to several years.
That sketchbook was to me a safe place where I could escape from my shaky reality in high school as well as a place where I could explore new forms of visual expression. In that book, I grew, learned, documented, and matured tangibly. I still have that sketch book and I look back on it from time to time and reflect on the former mes. Similar to Maya Angelou, I wonder what I could have told myself that would have made things better or pushed along a different path. Maybe I could have found Computer Science faster or gone down the artistic rabbit-hole to emerge with more artistic expertise than I have now. The possibilities are endless but it is nice to know that I have that part of me that I can always go back to, if I needed it.